A chill that had nothing to do with the iced champagne was stealing through Harrys chest.

What do you mean? he asked Muriel. Who said his sister was a Squib? I thought she was ill?

Thought wrong, then, didnt you, Barry! said Auntie Muriel, looking delighted at the effect she had produced. Anyway, how could you expect to know anything about it! It all happened years and years before you were even thought of, my dear, and the truth is that those of us who were alive then never knew what really happened. Thats why I cant wait to find out what Skeeters unearthed! Dumbledore kept that sister of his quiet for a long time!

Untrue! wheezed Doge, Absolutely untrue!

He never told me his sister was a Squib, said Harry, without thinking, still cold inside.

And why on earth would he tell you? screeched Muriel, swaying a little in her seat as she attempted to focus upon Harry.

The reason Albus never spoke about Ariana, began Elphias in a voice stiff with emotion, is, I should have thought, quite clear. He was so devastated by her death

Why did nobody ever see her, Elphias? squawked Muriel, Why did half of us never even know she existed, until they carried the coffin out of the house and held a funeral for her? Where was saintly Albus while Ariana was locked in the cellar? Off being brilliant at Hogwarts, and never mind what was going on in his own house!

What dyou mean, locked in the cellar? asked Harry. What is this?


  1. A bright silver light appeared right ahead of him, moving through the trees. Whatever the source, it was moving soundlessly. The light seemed simply to drift toward him.
  2. A porters cap pulled low over his mismatched eyes, Moody came limping through the archway pushing a trolley loaded with their trunks.
  3. A vivid image of the shrieking, spitting portrait of Siriuss mother that hung in the hall of number twelve, Grimmauld Place flashed into Harrys mind. I bet there has, he said.
  4. A whistling in Harrys ear told him the Bludger had just missed him again; he turned right over and sped in the opposite direction.
  5. After a few minutes progress up the dark tunnel, a distant sound of slowly shifting rock reached Harrys ears.
  6. An odd, dreamy expression suddenly came over Hermiones face. She slowly raised a hand and ran her fingers through her hair.
  7. And Harry fell again through the silver surface, landing this time right in front of a man he recognized at once.
  8. And Harrys feet left the floor to fall, seconds later, back onto the rug in front of Dumbledores desk.
  9. And something vast, green, and glittering erupted from the patch of darkness Harrys eyes had been struggling to penetrate; it flew up over the treetops and into the sky.
  10. And then the tunnel began to rise; moments later it twisted, and Crookshanks had gone. Instead, Harry could see a patch of dim light through a small opening.
  11. And to Harrys horror, a voice answered, and the voice seemed to come from Quirrell himself.

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Harry approached him. | Doge looked wretched. Auntie Muriel cackled again and answered Harry.

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